Friday, December 26, 2008
I know. I know. I'm a pathetic excuse of a blogger. I started this blog with the intent of weekly posts and I managed to average that the first year. But this last year has been full of lots of twists and turns and surprises. Some updates on that later. I am resolved to revive regular updates here and I hope to get out a bit of a backlog over the next week.
To begin . . . Christmas for the Johnston Kids.
We really try to celebrate Advent and Christmas as two distinct seasons. The kids were the enthusiastic recipients of two different Advent calendars this year and I saw why these are so popular. It was a great visual for the kids as they anxiously awaited the start of festivities. Gifts arrived in the mail several times each week throughout December and as the pile of wrapped surprises accumulated Margaret, especially, needed a lot of diversion to keep from jumping out of her skin with excitement.
But the big day finally arrived. We brought in a tree on December 23rd. We had hoped to score a tree as cheaply as we did last year but we chickened out on waiting to the last minute because of a forecasted snowstorm. The local hardware store had huge inexpensive trees for sale and Eric brought home the biggest tree we've ever had to go in the biggest home we've ever had. I so wish I'd caught Margaret's face when Eric came through the door with a tree. She just stood in total awe yelling, "Whoa!"
Both kids, of course, had a lot of input on the proper care and feeding of trees.
We decorated through the day on Christmas Eve. Eric let me handle the lights because I'm fanatically picky about light placement. The kids helped me place the ornaments during the afternoon--mostly by requesting that I place all of the ornaments "on the highest branches."
Our Christmas Eve dinner this year was cheese fondue--beautifully prepared by Eric who always ends up doing the holiday cooking because I wear myself out with other preparations by the time dinner rolls around.
You might think we're crazy for combining open flame, skewers, and crazy children but they actually did really well. Joseph was really careful with everything and Margaret pretty much only wanted grapes for dinner.
We open gifts throughout the twelve days in our family. We brought a few to Eric's mom's for Christmas morning, then there is about one gift each day until Epiphany when we give the kids their "big gift." But Eric's mom sent over some special Christmas Eve gifts--new pajamas for all. It was tempting to post a picture of my cozy new nightgown but I'll just leave you with the kids who were very excited about their cozy new jammies. In fact, if you look you can see that Margaret put hers on immediately and wore them all through dinner.
We enjoyed a wonderful relaxing Christmas Day with Grandma Marga and family. Caramel pecan rolls for breakfast, lots of gifts for all, and a fantastic beef tenderloin dinner.
I'll post pictures of gift highlights a bit later and I do hope to get in a few "back issues" from this fall over the next week. Merry Christmas everyone!